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The roofed market with its seven doors is witness to the ancient history of Latakia

The stone walls and archaeological arches of the roofed market narrate part of the ancient heritage of the city of Latakia, as the ceilings and domes covering its narrow alleys paved with ancient stones, provide an elegant scene that spices up the fragrance of the past despite the change that has occurred in most of his features.

The old market extends over a wide area about one km from the city center. It intersects its markets and main streets, where it is surrounded by Ugarit Square in the south, Souq Al-Sagha and Al-Annaba Street in the north and Al Quwatli Street in the east and Hanano Street in the west. It is linked with the city through seven gates, while the old municipality building is located in one of its entrances.

Hanna Zureik, 73 years old, who grew up in this historical landmark, says that the market was known as the Bazaar, and it is called the "Golden Hole", as it was a popular destination for the city and the rural residents, noting that the market contained many restaurants, hotels and places for breeding cattle and horses, along with a bus station which was later turned into a municipal square.

He adds that the market includes many residential buildings dating back to more than two hundred years, as these houses are in the middle of a large area surrounded by a number of rooms in addition to a cellar and a well, indicating that some of these houses have turned into commercial shops.

Knitting (such as rugs and wool), soap manufacturing, making and ironing of Tarboosh, were among the most famous industries in the market.

In 2008, a project was launched to restore some of the market’s features, but it stopped at the beginning of the crisis in Syria.

Eng. Suhail Dayoub, who supervises the implementation of the project to rehabilitate and revive the old municipality building and the adjacent square and alleys, shows that the main goal of the project is to preserve the historical reserve and the diverse architectural heritage that characterizes the city, as well as to revive handicrafts and traditional trades and create new investment opportunities in a way that contributes to the revitalization of the tourism movement..

Amal Farhat


Restoration of the Great Umayyad Mosque with local expertise and high accuracy

 Under the supervision of an engineering team of experts, specialists and with great attention to detail, workers were able to hone  the stone in the Great Umayyad Mosque and re-engrave it with the same holy verses and Islamic inscriptions as it was before one thousand and three hundred years in harmony with the creations of wooden decorations on the doors and arches as carpenters ingeniously interlock and inlay small pieces of wood to make unique panels  that tell the story of ancient civilization that  foreign-backed terrorism sought to destroy.

SANA quoted Dr. Saker Olabi, director of the mosque's maintenance and restoration project as saying that restoration work is going on elaborately where the minaret and the facades of the mosque’s courtyards are almost complete and the interior work is also almost finished as walls and pillars have been repaired along with ventilation, electricity, and lighting systems. The restoration and maintenance work has also been completed in the shrine of the Prophet Zakaria, stressing that work has already started in restoring the eastern part of the mosque which is interlinked with the antique souqs.

It is mentioned that the Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, which was built in the 8th century AD, has witnessed previous restoration work that started in 1999 and ended with celebrating Aleppo as the capital of Islamic culture in 2006. Here again, it is being restored today, due to the devastation and destruction caused by the terrorist organizations who blew up its unique minaret, which led to its collapse.

On International Museum Day ... Syrian antiquities continue their virtual activities with the application of quarantine procedures

The celebration of the International Day of Museums began in 1977, with the 18th of May each year being designated as World Day for this occasion. The aim is highlighting the role of these centers in development, education and knowledge.

The World Council of Museums oversees the celebration of this day as an organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization "UNESCO" sees on this occasion an opportunity for museum professionals to communicate with the public and alert them to current challenges and strengthen the relationship between the museum and society, given that the museum in the modern era is no longer just a home to preserve historical, heritage and cultural treasures, but it has become a scientific center that contributes to the spread of knowledge, science and the definition of human heritage.

In light of what the world’s countries are witnessing from quarantine and preventive measures against the Corona virus, the initiative of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums to launch the Virtual Museum of Syrian Cultural Heritage came in response to the role of knowledge and development museums in society and to achieve the principle of spatial divergence to enhance response procedures.

Daraa Antiquities Directorate receives hundreds of recovered artifacts that were looted by terrorist organizations

DARAA, (ST)- The Antiquities Directorate in Daraa has received hundreds of artifacts that were previously looted by terrorist organizations from archaeological sites in the province during the years of the crisis with the intention of smuggling from Syria.

Mohammad Kheir al-Nasrallah, Director of the Daraa Antiquities told SANA reporter on Wednesday that the smuggling process was foiled by  the concerned Syrian authorities, saying that the recovered archeological pieces included 213 pottery vessels of different sizes and 174 glass vessels. The artifacts date back to the Bronze, Roman, and Byzantine ages.

He added that the directorate has preserved the recovered pieces and documented them in order to be displayed at a later stage in the galleries of the Daraa National Museum in accordance with the era to which they belong.

The ancient temple of BaalShamin in Saiya... creativity in architectural and engineering decoration

 BaalShamin Temple, is located in the archaeological site of the eastern countryside of Sweida. It is distinguished by the beauty of its geometric and architectural decorations that are carved as plant shapes, especially vine. In addition to the figures carved within the Acanthus leaves that decorate the Corinthian crowns of the columns.

The archaeological Temple of BaalShamin, which dates back to the period between 1 and 32 BC, is the largest temple in southern Syria and the most important part of the "gods compound", which is located on the western end of the western  mountainous region.

Head of the Department of Archeology in Sweida, Dr. Nasha'at Kiwan stated that the Temple of BaalShamin, or what is called "the God of the Heavens", is considered the most important monument in the archaeological site of Saiya, as its ruins indicate its high position.

The temple  consists of the main gate on the eastern side, which dates back to the era of the Roman leader, Severianus, in the second half of the second century AD, of which only the foundations of its right tower are left, in addition to a large courtyard. Its northeastern corner is occupied by a defensive tower, and its northwestern corner depicts the ruins of an administrative building dating back to the second century AD, as well as the chapel located in the middle of the temple courtyard.

Kiwan pointed out that there are  ruins for another temple located on the southern end of the BaalShamin Temple, which was likely built during the reign of the Nabateans king Rabbel II between 70 and 106 AD according to a Roman plan and decorations. There are also ruins of a square-shaped building that looks like a tower and is located between two courtyards, one of them is wider than the second. As for the central courtyard, which is the front sanctuary of the temple of  BaalShamin god, parts of its wall are still clearly identifiable.

Kiwan shows that, during the previous years of excavation, the entire BaalShamin Temple was discovered.

  A number of important archaeological finds, including bronze coins, pottery, a saddle, parts of Nabateans and Greek writings, and some of the inscriptions and architectural decorations that used to decorate the Temple of BaalShamin, were also found. In addition to writing that indicates the history of the  temple's building in the Nabateans and Greek languages, dating back to the first century BC, some of them carry the name of Ous Ibn Malika, who wrote the inscription of the temple's construction.

It is noteworthy that the site of Saiya is one of the important archaeological areas in the governorate of Sweida and southern Syria where the Arab tribes and residents of the region visited it frequently as the ancient artists immortalized it in wonderful paintings decorating the entrances of their temples and their homes' balconies.

Amal Farhatv